Engaging with effective governance
It’s essential for South African municipalities to gain access to the tools and technologies they need to achieve clean audits and transformational change, says Elton Moodley at BCX.
According to an article in the African Journal of Public Affairs; a clean municipal audit is a sign of a well-functioning and clean administration. It is also a sign of tight governance and that government funds are being spent responsibly. This is precisely the mandate of municipalities: to use funding intelligently and capably, to ensure that resources and systems are tightly managed, and to ensure that services are delivered.
Presently in South Africa this is a pressing issue; with the limited number of clean audits received, and our deteriorating infrastructure. Only 27 were submitted in 2021. However, this is also an opportunity, for the integration of specialised solutions that allows municipalities to transform auditing results, their spend and to gain tighter control over their environments.
There are several challenges facing municipalities today. Challenges that limit their ability to follow good governance, with a knock-on impact on employee performance, auditing results, and outcomes.
One of the most significant inhibitors is lack of access to stable systems that allow for the effective management of budgets, processes and spend. Many municipalities struggle to use legacy platforms that have limited toolsets which diminish efficiency and transparency. This impacts on compliance and governance, particularly when it comes to keeping up with increasingly rigorous regulations and requirements from government and National Treasury.
One of the most important components of a clean audit is good governance. There is plenty of research confirming the role that governance plays in ensuring employees are engaged, that data is correctly captured, and that municipalities remain focused on the needs of the communities they serve.
Defined by the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa, the codes of good governance have a long set the standards for governance within the public sector. However, achieving good, and even great, governance requires a steady hand on the tiller, that those within the public sector are familiar with these guidelines, and are exceptional at implementing them. This is a complex expectation, one that often is not backed up by trusted solutions that support the users and recognise the challenges inherent within a municipality and its operations.
If governance is key and it sits at the heart of success within these environments, then so should be the solutions that empower municipalities to perform their responsibilities to the highest standards. This is where technology steps in.
Today, there are solutions designed specifically for the public sector that recognise the limitations impacting on skills. These solutions provide a holistic ecosystem of support that are relevant to the specific requirements of municipalities. Specificity is key as each municipality has its own unique constituent demands, environmental needs, and financial complexities. Therefore, a solution must be capable of adapting intelligently to these unique expectations. There is risk to audit and governance if a square peg is forced into a round hole.
This philosophy is the driving force behind the BCX Service-Oriented Local Authority Resource Management Solution (SOLAR). SOLAR is a proudly South African integrated financial management software solution designed specifically for the local municipal environment that is adaptable, flexible, and brings in both consultancy and accessibility as standard. SOLAR offers budget management, treasury reporting, advanced reporting, intelligent dashboards, revenue, and financial management, and point of sale capabilities. It does all this without compromising on transparency and accessibility. It is not designed to be out of the user’s reach, but rather for the user’s unique circumstances and requirements. SOLAR has already proven itself as an invaluable tool in several exceptional audits over the past year. Consultative, smart, and competent, BCX SOLAR helps public sector entities overcome their challenges and engage in the opportunities to deliver a better service to its citizens.
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